Environmental Policy

Climate Change Doubt not due to ignorance of the science
May 28, 2012 08:11 AM - Staff, ClickGreen

A new study has dispelled the myth that the public are divided about climate change because they don't understand the science behind it. And the Yale research published today reveals that if Americans knew more basic science and were more proficient in technical reasoning it would still result in a gap between public and scientific consensus. Indeed, as members of the public become more science literate and numerate, the study found, individuals belonging to opposing cultural groups become even more divided on the risks that climate change poses. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the study was conducted by researchers associated with the Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School and involved a nationally representative sample of 1500 U.S. adults.

Canada closing its marine pollution program
May 26, 2012 08:08 AM - Miguel Llanos, msnbc.com

Canada has been sending letters to government scientists notifying them that their jobs will be eliminated or affected by the closure of the country's marine pollution program -- but at least one isn't going without making some noise. "It's perplexing that we face the loss of this program, given the 25,000 chemicals on the market and the ever-increasing threats posed by shipping and oil and gas exploration and development in temperate and Arctic waters," Peter Ross told msnbc.com. Ross is perhaps Canada's best known marine scientist for his work on identifying killer whales as the most contaminated marine mammals on the planet. "As can be expected when one is told their position is being terminated, one is shocked and saddened," he added. "However, when told that the entire pollution research and monitoring program for Canada's oceans is being eliminated, I was speechless."

Rangers now allowed to shoot tiger poachers on sight in Indian state
May 25, 2012 08:32 AM - Rhett Butler, MONGABAY.COM

In the wake of a surge in tiger poaching, the state government of Maharashtra, India will no longer consider the shooting of wildlife poachers by forest rangers a crime, reports the Associated Press.

Majority of Americans Agree: Protecting the Environment Creates Jobs
May 24, 2012 08:25 AM - Gina-Marie Cheeseman, Triple Pundit

The majority of Americans (58 percent) think that protecting the environment improves economic growth and creates new jobs. The results are from a recently released poll by Yale University and George Mason University's climate change communication program. Only 17 percent of the poll's respondents think that environmental protection hurts the economy and job growth, and 25 percent think there is no effect. When there is a conflict between protecting the environment and improving the economy, 62 percent think it is more important to protect the environment, and only 38 percent thought economic growth is more important.

G8 Leaders Agree to Act on Climate, Air Pollution
May 23, 2012 09:01 AM - Edouard Stenger, Clean Techies

At the Camp David meeting last week, G8 leaders agreed to act on climate change and air pollution by focusing on methane, black carbon (soot), and hydroflurocarbons (HFCs).

Why the best world-changing ideas begin in your neighborhood
May 22, 2012 09:31 AM - John-Paul Flintoff, Ecologist

Your ideas for changing the world may be desperately important. But if you can't find a way to engage the interests of the people around you they may never take off, argues John-Paul Flintoff. The environmental movement has often been guilty of making people despondent, either by talking about 'problems' in a way that makes listeners feel powerless, or by presenting solutions as miserable duties. It needn't be that way. Instead, we could try to make doing the right thing appealing, rather than merely necessary - and one way to do that is to offer people a chance to say hello to their neighbours.

Charcoal for African Cookstoves, What's the Story?
May 21, 2012 07:10 AM - Jen Boynton, Triple Pundit

You may have seen pictures of women in Africa cooking their daily meals on a small cookstove. These cooking implements look remarkably similar to the portable charcoal grills an American family might bring to the beach for an afternoon of grilling hot dogs and hamburgers. Imagine using one of these at your kitchen table to prepare nearly every meal of your life. In Mozambique (a coastal nation in Southwest Africa, just north of South Africa), the average lifespan is 47 years, the average income is $1 per day — minimum wage is a little more than double that, but high unemployment cuts the average in half. Charcoal is the cooking element of choice. Among market shoppers and sellers we met, charcoal was deemed to be the best cooking option because it is easily available and "not dangerous."

Paper or Plastic?
May 18, 2012 06:49 AM - Lilia Casanova, SciDevNet

Cities in a number of Asian countries, including China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan, are currently on the warpath against plastic shopping bags. The cities have passed local laws that ban such bags, on the basis that they clog sewers and drainage canals, cause street flooding, choke animals and are responsible for other forms of environmental damage. China and Taiwan, for example, impose heavy fines on violators. Other countries are appealing for a switch to the production and use of biodegradable bags. But this misses the point. People do not object to using biodegradable bags, and consider them a welcome return to the traditional practice of using shopping baskets and bags made from locally available materials — such as jute, abaca and cloth — that are less harmful to the environment.

European Agricultural Ministers look to backtrack on Farm Carbon Program
May 17, 2012 06:29 AM - Editor

Conservation groups have condemned a move by European agricultural ministers to tone down some of the most controversial environmental proposals in the next phase of the EU's farm support programme. Agricultural and fisheries ministers from the 27 EU countries called yesterday (15 May) for replacing conservation measures recommended by the European Commission with a more flexible system. The decision was not a surprise — ministers have indicated in the past that there was little political appetite for creating requirements in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) that tie direct payments to farmers to measures aimed at cutting carbon emissions and reducing other pollutants.

U.S. Military Not Retreating on Clean Energy
May 16, 2012 08:06 AM - John Gartner, Matter Network

While many government officials nervously await the outcome of the November elections and speculate as to its implications for the cleantech sector, one federal department is likely to be relatively unaffected regardless of the outcome: Defense. According to panelists at the recent "Mission Critical: Clean Energy and the U.S. Military" event in Denver, the military's growing commitment to reducing its use of fossil fuel, for both national security and economic reasons, will not waver regardless of who's in charge in the White House or the Congress.

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